Wouldn’t You Know It People
After landing at the Hartford, Connecticut airport recently, the pilot apologetically informed us that there was no gate available and we would be waiting on the tarmac for ten or fifteen more minutes. Immediately some woman behind me muttered aloud, “ Wouldn't you know it?” It caught my attention because she quickly added, “ Wouldn't you know it? We finally arrive on time, and now we have to wait so we’re going to end up being late anyway.” Then a man who heard the woman chimed in. “No surprise, they’ll get you one way or another.” Then the woman replied back to the man, “Just our luck, I suppose.” Exercising as much discipline as I could muster, I withheld my opinion and jotted down on my note pad the words I had just heard. I tried to remind myself of the somewhat significant detail that we had at least landed safely on the runway.
Fast forward to Sunday morning, and I receive an early morning call on my mobile phone from Delta notifying me that my flight home had been cancelled and that I had been rebooked on a flight six and a half hours later. I would miss my two older sons’ lacrosse games and not arrive back home until after dinner time. Once I realized there were no other alternatives and this situation was a fact, I started to make the most of it.
Imagine what you could catch up on if you suddenly had an extra 6 or 7 hours available.
I later learned the flight was cancelled because the pilots and crew had reached their maximum consecutive work hours limit to safely execute the flight. That suited me fine, to say the least, as I have no personal goals that involve testing the endurance and alertness of commercial pilots flying planes on which I am a passenger.
Fast forward Sunday late afternoon, and after arriving at the airport I learned the rescheduled flight had been delayed another hour or so, and I’d be getting back even later. As the announcement was made, you guessed it – more grumbling. “ Wouldn't you know it…Just my luck…Of course there’s NO WAY I’ll make my connection…and on and on.”
I was ready to be home as well, but honestly, the thought that kept going through my mind was this, “This is so unusual for me. Normally my travel plans go off without a hitch. I can’t remember the last time I was stuck for very long in an airport.”
The words we use are vitally important. When you say something like, “ wouldn't you know it,” you’re revealing and reaffirming mediocre expectations. It obviously means that you were not surprised because “these types of things have a tendency to happen to you often.” Think about it. You may say, “It’s just a figure of speech” and you’re right. It is a figure of speech that represents your outlook on life and expectations in general.
With our words we train our minds to look for the gunk or the gift. And what we seek we usually find. And this mindset is, no doubt, contagious. What about you? When you’re disappointed or inconvenienced a little, what is your first reaction? What do you tell yourself about your circumstances?
When you look for the good, the gift, and the opportunity even in and especially in situations that frustrate the average you’re not claiming there is no issue. What you’re claiming is a solution, a solution that blesses you and others.
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